Many a times in our day to day activity we do sundry transactions such as telephone recharge, set top box recharge, ATM money withdrawal, Gas Cylinder refilling, swap our Debit or Credit Cards for purchasing some house hold things and several other activities. It happens across every other house holds, but have you ever noticed minutely the transactions time taken by the system (PLEASE NOTE THE WORD ‘SYSTEM’ AS I AM GOING TO USE IT A NUMBER OF TIMES IN THIS ARTICLE). Generally in a fraction of a second our transactions gets completed and our services get resumed or we receive the SMS / email on our phones that your card has been used for such and such amount. Good, very good! Smart System – we all are satisfied.
NOW let’s come to the other side of the coin when any of such transaction get’s failed and this ‘Smart System’ charges our account and the services do not get resumed even after the stipulated waiting time has passed. Then what we do? – first step is to contact the respective Customer Service. Ok let’s get done to that now
– Calling ….. press this button for this service, press that button for that service, and so on……no button for – to have a human being on line – OK got one by God’s Grace!! Great – Now start your Identification parade – “your name, your customer ID, your address, your DOB, your spouse name, your wedding date..!!! Uhhhhh! At the last the gentleman or the lady is satisfied with our Bio – Data….now please proceed and tell me your issue why have you called us” – now we start narrating our story, the officer on the other end is listing and reviewing the system. At the end of our conversation we expect some instant resolution from the other end but the reply which we receive is “Sir, our system is down at the moment, hence we are unable to review your account, please call us later in the day, we regret for the inconvenience caused to you.” Hello!! What a great Customer Service – my first question to them is – when there system was down and they were not able to review our account then why & how they took such a long interview of us? They should have informed us immediately without taking us for that joyride.
If by Luck by Chance their ‘System’ is working then they are going to provide us with a standard reply, “Sir, your refund would get reflected back to your account in next 24 hours time, please wait till then and if still you do not get back your money then call us back.” Good …..you disconnect the phone. Dear we have made a mistake without realising that we should have asked the concern officer for a Reference Number of the said call!!!! It helps a lot later on, in case we need to follow up for our refund or services etc.
There are situations when we have to call again and again and have to narrate the same old story each time when our call gets disconnected due to any reasons and we call back again and the customer service officer is helpless as they can’t transfer the call to the same officer with whom we were talking previously, “Sorry Sir, our system dose not allow that, please tell me how can I help you?” ……..Uhhhhh!! no other choice but to narrate the entire episode from the scratch all over again.
Now calling after 24 hours time – again the same parade we have to undergo – it’s a torment and pain taking process of identification, many readers would agree with me. Now again we have to tell the entire story, this time the officer is going to check the system and tell us something very interesting – “Sir, we have initiated the refund process from our end, please check with your concern bank, thank you for calling us.” Before you are able to say anything “Thank you” is done, phone is disconnected. Now enjoy!! If you have guts to get through the torturous identification process in short ‘TIP’ all over again then please feel free to call back the system again.
If your call was concerning any kind of services such as DTH services then the reply would be “Sir, we have forwarded your concern to the concerned Zone and some one from that zone is going to get back to you very soon, thank you for calling.”
Many a times we generally do not ask for complain number or reference number for such a type of calls which actually helps them to evade within the system which keeps a record for each calls made, some where they miss to provide us with quality services for which they are been paid to and still we do not get.
Now I’ll share with you all some of my best experiences with the ‘Smart System’ and resolution which I was able to draw successfully and yes I do have the documented evidences for each incidents.
1.) I was charged Rs. 17/- by my bank State Bank of India, reason stated in the statement was insufficient funds, although my account was having a balance of Rs. 18,000/- and I had to withdraw Rs. 1,000/- from the ATM, which got failed on the first attempt. Second attempt was successful. When I contacted the bank they were not able to explain me the exact reason for the said deduction, the case was subsequently forwarded to the Chairman SBI Customer Service, Mumbai, who directed the matter to a DGM level officer. I provided him with all the details related to my transaction beside my account details, result - no reply from his end and nether took any action in order to refund the money. I waited for all most a month, thereafter I had to remind the Chairman with a clear intentions to take forward the matter to the Banking Ombudsman. Right after that email, the amount was refunded back to me in next 24 hours time without any explanation. I received an email from the AGM of my Branch which stated the following – “With reference to your grievance regarding Rs. 17 debit in your account on 24.02.2014, we confirm having reversed the (system generated) debit on 24.03.2014.” You see – System Generated!!!
2.) Had to purchase a Tata Photon Wi – Fi Modem from the authorized centre of Tata Photon company in Gurgaon, Haryana. I provided them with my Address proof (Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana ID) with my residential address, the Centre Manager simply refused to provide me with the post paid connection of modem stating that as per there check list provided to them Bar Council ID was not listed. OK fair enough and I provided him with my DL and Ration Card of the same address, again refused by him stating that Rewari does not comes in NCR hence cannot provide me with a post paid connection. Then ultimately I had to provide him one old ID proof which had an address of Gurgaon, but I informed and updated him with the fact that I am not staying on this address and I have moved out from there. The reply which I got is as follows: “Sir, System is not going to allow us to proceed for an address which is not of Gurgaon district, it doesn’t matter at all even if you have moved out from this address, system is going to provide you with e-bills hence there is no problem at all.” Great reply!! Here a man is trying to be honest with the company but the Great, Grand system is not allowing him to do so!!
3.) D2H Videocon Dish TV services – services suspended as I haven’t paid the service engineer his home visit charges amounting to Rs. 150/-, whereas my account balance was around Rs. 1200/- on that particular date. Ok contacted the Customer Care Service, logged a complain as I had been informed by the service engineer himself that his home visit charges gets waived off if I opt for an AMC services, which I opted for, paid for the AMC, thereafter the TV services was also running good but got suspended just after a gap of 7 days of his visit. Company or you can say Customer Care Service were adamant on their part that they won’t be able to do anything unless I pay up Rs. 150/- as visiting charges. And the service engineer was stating the same old story, don’t worry Sir I shall get the payment reversed in the system in next 24 hours time, I was not ready to wait for 24 hours, I didn’t accepted their terms. I asked them with a simple question “Dear, when the services needs to be resumed it takes half of a second, the moment I pay through Internet Banking or any other mode, resuming process is instant. Now why I have to wait for next 24 hours to get my account updated with Rs. 150/- which needs to be waived off?”, again there was the same old Std. Reply covering themselves with “System”. Ok this time I was too much determined to teach these guys with a proper lesson, I went to the police station got a complain registered into the Police Diary had a receipt of the same, the inspector on duty asked the service engineer to report to the police station immediately which he did, asked him what best he can do in this matter with immediate effect, he said he is helpless can’t do anything, but made a call to his superiors and requested them to talk to me, which I did, again the superior said to me that the system is going to reflect the reversal only after 24 hours time, hence I have to wait up till then, I said OK fair enough – I am asking the duty officer to put your man - the service engineer, behind the bars for next 24 hours of time, once the telecast gets resumed I shall withdraw my complain, and get your man released. This time it was MY SYSTEM….!!!, after this communication - the superior got the matter resolved in next 10 minutes of time without creating any more fuss etc.
4.) CIBIL – Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd. - I’ll try to cut short the story would narrate it in points –
A.) There was a Home loan from IDBI Bank which got closed in the year 2010 and cleared all the outstanding amount, got the No dues Certificate also.
B.) Purchased my CIBIL report after a gap of nine months after closing my Home Loan account, the report was clear with an entry of home loan current balance as Zero, good I kept the report for my records.
C.) Now this year, 2014 I applied for a car loan again with IDBI Bank, the manager informed me that as per the current CIBIL I am still running my home loan, it was showing it as outstanding, which was news to me!!
D.) As the Bank was same and I was having the No Dues Certificate with me I got my car loan processed but thereafter I proceeded with the CIBIL customer service, informed them with their own report which they provided me in the year 2011 which showed the home loan as Zero balance and now how come in the year 2014 its showing some amount as outstanding. I asked for an explanation. Which was obvious they were unable to, because now the situations was very difficult for them to handle as the customer was having both the old and new reports in his custody which they were required to justify.
E.) In a span of 20 days approx the issue was resolved from their end with an email to me which stated the following – “Sorry for the inconvenience caused to you we have updated our system and now its showing your home loan as zero balance.”
Hence, friends hope by this time you all are on the same page where I am with this unique word ‘System’ first its difficult to get into the system then it’s difficult to survive into the system. Jago Grahak Jago is a good campaign by the government but before that we need to understand the system else these customer service guys are going to make us entangled in the system so much that we won’t be able to get out of it just like in Chakraview of Mahabarata.
I appeal to each one of you who are reading this write up do not be lenient and do not tolerated any kind of nuisance played behind the shield of so called ‘System’, fight back ask questions, do not let them go so easily because ultimately its your hard earned money through which their company is running and they are getting paid, hence they are not obliging us by attending our calls or emails or providing us with services, its their responsibility, professional obligation and duty which they need to adhere to and fulfil on TIME with 100% QUALITY, ACCURACY, TRANSPARENCY and last but not the least with SWIFTNESS.
Pranab Roy Chowdhury
B.Com, MBL, LL.b